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Katherine Sanders in

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No enterprise mobile strategy is complete without mobile integration.  The primary goal of enterprise mobile is to make employees more efficient by allowing them to complete their work on their mobile device.  However, this is impossible if they cannot access their company’s systems and data.

In my work as a connectivity and integration consultant, I encountered the following two use cases that demonstrate the benefits of mobile integration. 

Pile of paper


Use case 1: Modernizing the sales process

One of the companies I worked with had a sales process in which their sales representatives:

  1. Carried a large paper product catalogue to their customers,
  2. Recorded orders on paper forms, and
  3. Placed orders over the phone, and operators manually entered the orders into their JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

There were several disadvantages to this process:

  • Sales representatives had to carry lots of paperwork.
  • The paper catalogue was expensive to update, prohibiting frequent changes.
  • Errors could be introduced when the orders were manually entered into the JD Edwards system.
  • Orders were usually entered several hours after they were taken, causing a delay in order fulfillment.
  • There was an added cost to employ the operators.

The company addressed these issues by creating a mobile application that the sales representatives could use on their tablets to browse the product catalogue and record orders.  However, the application required a link to the company’s JD Edwards system to be able to display and update this enterprise data.  To implement this link, they deployed IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration to synchronize customers, products and order information between their mobile application and the JD Edwards system.

Once the mobile integration work was completed, the sales representatives were able to browse the latest product catalogue, place orders and receive near real-time updates about the order status.  The orders were immediately synchronized with their JD Edwards system, avoiding order processing delays.  The company also saved costs and prevented data entry errors because they no longer required operators.

Stamp of approval

Use case 2: Modernizing the purchase approvals process

Another company I worked with wanted to accelerate the following purchase approvals process:

  1. The employee created a purchase request in their SAP ERP system.
  2. The employee’s manager received a notification to approve the request.
  3. The manager would log in to their SAP system and approve or deny the request.

Each step in the process did not take long to complete, but step 3 could cause delays if the manager was traveling or in meetings and unable to log in to their SAP system.

To streamline the purchase approvals process, the company created a mobile application that allowed managers to approve or deny requests directly from their mobile devices.  Again, this application required a link to the ERP system using mobile integration, and it was implemented using IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration.

Have you discovered any other mobile integration use cases? If so, please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter.

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June 28, 2013
5:26 am

[...] consumers of data now expect to access information at any time and across multiple devices.  My previous blog post explained why mobile integration is essential inside the enterprise, and it is just as important [...]

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